Thursday, 28 April 2011

Who is the Conductor of your life?

Sitting there, once again wiling the hours away while playing Train Conductor 2: USA for the umpteenth time, I wonder if this frustration I am feeling is in ANY way similar to how God feels when he guides, inspires and leads us along our paths only to be ignored or bypassed...

For those who don't know, this game is available for playing on an Apple ipod/iphone/ipad - one of those many 'new' technologies that have been spit out over the last few years and been taken up ferociously, not just by teens and Gen's X & Y, those who 'grew up with technology' ... but also by kids as young as two [yes, there are some fantastic educational and 'fun' games aimed at children this young which are actually great supplements to your regular 'teaching' of concepts, ie. literacy, numeracy, sounds, find-a-(insert item)] and even older generations who grew up without 'even the basic computer!'

Anyway, as I 'said', I was playing this game, mind focussed on each of those trains - trying to ensure each one got to its 'designated' destination track, while avoiding the inevitable 'miss' (reaching a destination, though not the one intended), crash or 'drop' off the cliff ... leading to the game being finished - when it suddenly struck me that this guiding and leading is to a degree similar in some ways to how God leads and guides...and feels frustrated when we 'drop the ball' / bypass his logic or, for any number of reasons, chose a direction of our own choosing, rather than that which He knows is best for us to follow.  **reaching for straws??!!**
My daughter and my father
following the kangaroos around at
Cleland Wildlife Park last Dec.

Mother Parenthood (and, I would assume, Grand-parenthood) also provides these challenges of leading/following.  We guide and lead our children along paths of action (or inaction as the case may be) according to our own understandings of right and wrong, whether backed by religious teaching or our own personal experiences.  We teach them to follow God's Word and how to learn to hear (and more importantly, listen to) His voice... to be compassionate and loving towards others despite any real or perceived differences... to forgive transgressions done unto us despite hurt feelings and desires to reciprocate ... not to cheat, steal or lie ... to 'stop, look and listen' before crossing the road ... of 'stranger danger' and to 'stay with mummy/daddy/me' ... and the many other 'good' choices they may make across the course of their childhoods, in an attempt to empower and equip them with the right tools for growing up in the best possible way.  

(Wow is that a loong sentence!)

How do we feel when these lessons we, have diligently and faithfully taught our little ones, are seemingly tossed aside to alleviate their burning desire to (**insert here any of the number of enchanting attractions/distractions which can seemingly cause us caregivers such chaos and frustration**)??  

When our child runs ahead of us down that aisle or corridor in a shop, just to see the delightful display of toys over yonder, obviously forgetting that Mummy is beside herself trying to carry the multitude of bags she's carrying, while pushing the baby in the stroller, and simultaneously yelling for said child to "slow down", "stop right there", or "get back here now" because she just can't move that quickly.  

When our youngest interrupts with his "I want to go home NOW" tantrum, when Daddy is just trying to finish that conversation with the pastor or close friend he hasn't seen in a while.  

When they run away to hide as soon as they find out it is nap-time/bath-time/packup-time, kicking and screaming when you finally get hold of them, and end up bribing them with some treat just to get them to calm down, while hoping that thumping headache of yours doesn't get any worse.

What about you?  Do you hear - or better yet, already know - God's plan for you, and yet choose otherwise ... because it is easier / nicer / more convenient?  Do you knowingly - or even unconsciously - choose to do something the Bible tells us will lead us into sin?  When temptation comes, wrapped in that tantalizing packaging that just melts your defenses and, even though you know you probably shouldn't 'go there', unwrap it with delicate questioning ... just to see what it would be like to experience? 

I know I have.  

I know I do. 

Regrettably, I do every day.

How must that frustrate and hurt our Father?!  How that must just eat him up inside!  And, its not just me - or you - it's EVERYONE who has, does and will ever live!!!!  How heartbroken must he be when he tries to lead and teach us his wonderful and glorious ways, only to have it thrown back in his face.  How heart wrenchingly painful would those nails have been, going through Jesus' hands and feet, as He saw each and everyone of our sins flash before His eyes, as the soldiers pinned Him to that cross and HE bore the punishment for OUR transgressions?!!!

In sending us HIS SON to live as a man, die as a man and three days later rise to NEW LIFE so that we might live - that's powerful!  And to forgive - and FORGET - the moment we ask in faith for his undeserved forgiveness ... That's TRUE LOVE!

Could you do it?  Could you send your child to the grave like that, knowing the pain and suffering it would cause them, regardless of the resultant rewards?  

I don't know that I could.  I don't know if I'd have the strength.  Even facing the choice of Abraham, in sacrificing his son Issac 'even though God had said to him, "It is through Issac that your offspring will be reckoned" (Hebrews 11:18; see also Genesis 22: 1-19).  I don't know that I could do that.  To have that faith, that strength - I can't wait to meet that guy!  To learn from him would be awe-inspiring!

13  For you created my innermost being; 
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14  I praise you because I am fearfully and
wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15  My frame was not hidden from you
when I was woven together in the 
depths of the earth.
16  your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
~ Psalm 139 
(italics inserted by me)

"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."  WOW!!  He knows everything He desires for us - even before we are born!  He knows the trials we will face.  He even experienced many of the temptations we face in our lives - and yet He remained sinless.  He knows the best way for us.  He knows the best plan for us to follow - for He was the one who wrote it ... He even told us as much!  And isn't it Our Creator, Our Father the only one who can know what's best for us!  

We claim to know what's best for our children - are we not His children?!!

He knows what we are going through in life.  He told us that 'in this world [we] will have trouble' (John 16:33b) and yet he followed this up with "But take heart!  I have overcome the world" (v. 33c).  

He told us THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIVE different times, "Do Not Fear!"  That's once for each day of the year!  That's once every four minutes of the day!  As Grant Taylor's former coach in Facing the Giants said - "For him to say it that many times, you know he's serious about it!"

So, what are you waiting for?!  

Are you ready to step out and make that next choice that keeps you moving forward along (or gets you back to) God's plan for your life?  

Are you ready to take the fear and doubt, that is keeping you from making the right decision, and hand it up to Jesus on that cross, so that you might follow His path for your life?  

Are you willing to learn at the feet of all the men and women of the Bible, whose trust and faith was in God, in order to learn how to make that decision to follow His path for your life - despite all the shiny, sparkly temptations satan dangles your way?

Are you strong enough to take that road least travelled, making that choice to follow God rather than man?

I know I am, with God's help.


This post came to me in after reading one written by Ann Voskamp in which she challenges us to think 

What if more than celebrating Easter - we lived it?

I am loving reading her word, finding them a refreshing of my soul each and every time I hear her voice. If you haven't already read her work, I implore you to discover her heart - Her words are truly a Gift from Heaven!!!

I am linking this post with her 'walk with Wednesday's' post this week.  To find her words, click HERE.

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